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Review: On Six Degrees of Separation in DBLP-DB and More October 4, 2007

Posted by shahan in online social networks.
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Ergin Elmacioglu, Dongwon Lee, On Six Degrees of Separation in DBLP-DB and More. Sigmod Record 2005.

The authors present a standard analysis of co-authorship within the database research community from DBLP and other select venues. The collaboration network is represented by the author nodes that are incident if they co-authored one or more papers. The authors find a scale-free power law distribution in several of the statistics such as number of collaborators per author and the number of papers per author.

The paper is well-written grammatically. While several explanations are offered by the authors as to why the graphs follow these trends, explanations are missing further into the paper. On the other hand, the paper seems simply to fill the space with statistics and is missing the motivation for the work, is lacking a brief structure of the paper, and does not inspire the reader with a description of future work.

Although I am still a budding researcher, the “publish or perish” pressure stated to be a factor in the increase in collaborations is not well-supported. In my opinion, a more reasonable explanation may be that the amount of work required to research the new advanced database systems requires more authors due to each person’s specialization. Along the same lines, more interesting work can be brought about through the combination of these specializations. One measure which caught my eye was the betweenness of a node, which was possible most likely due to the smaller graph size compared to Cyworld or LiveJournal. It would certainly be interesting and useful to see this measure applied to larger systems.

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